How Hackers and Scammers Use AI (Artificial Intelligence)
Artificial intelligence (AI) is an increasingly popular topic of conversation when it comes to tech these days, especially with the public release of tools like ChatGPT. And while AI has legitimate and beneficial applications, some of its negative aspects are overshadowing its positive potential. One of the big concerns when it comes to AI use is how it is being exploited by hackers and scammers for malicious purposes. In this blog, we’re going to explore how hackers leverage AI in cyber attacks and the potential threats it poses to cybersecurity.
Understanding Modern AI:
Modern AI systems utilize a technique called machine learning. This technique enables systems to learn from data and improve their performance without being explicitly programmed. It involves training a model using a large amount of data, allowing it to begin to recognize patterns in that data and then asking it to make predictions or classifications. The model then “learns” by adjusting its parameters based on feedback and comparing its predictions to the actual outcomes. Through this repeated process, machine learning systems become more accurate and effective at solving specific tasks, such as image recognition, speech recognition, and data analysis.
How AI is Used by Hackers and Scammers:
Here are a handful of ways hacker are leveraging AI to make their hacks and scams more effective…
- Automated Attacks: Hackers utilize AI algorithms to automate attacks, increasing speed, scalability, and sophistication.
- Phishing and Social Engineering: AI-powered tools analyze vast amounts of data to create personalized phishing emails, messages, and chatbots, making scams more convincing.
- Deepfake Technology: AI-generated deep fake videos and audios enable impersonation, leading to identity theft or the manipulation of public opinion.
- Malware Detection Evasion: AI can create malware that adapts its behavior to bypass traditional security measures, evading detection systems.
- Data Breaches and Data Mining: AI algorithms assist hackers in identifying vulnerabilities, exploiting weak points, and extracting valuable data from compromised systems at an unprecedented scale.
- Password Cracking: AI accelerates the process of cracking passwords by using machine learning techniques to analyze patterns and predict likely combinations.
Top AI Scams to Watch Out For…
While there are aspects of AI hacking that are beyond our control, such as malware detection evasion and data breaches, and for which we must rely on our cybersecurity softwares and systems, there are some that we can actively take measures to prevent. Two such hacks are Voice Duplication/Deepfakes, and Text Tone Impersonation – more commonly known as phishing.
Voice Duplication and Deepfakes:
One alarming way scammers are using AI is through voice duplication, known as vishing. By utilizing short audio clips of people posted online, scammers can clone voices and deceive individuals into thinking they are speaking to someone they know. Voice synthesis is the technique behind this manipulation, involving the analysis of a person’s voice to generate new speech that sounds remarkably like the original. While voice synthesis has legitimate applications, scammers leverage it to impersonate someone and trick victims into divulging sensitive information.
How to Protect Yourself:
To protect yourself, establish a secret “family password” with loved ones and be skeptical of unexpected emotional or threatening messages requesting immediate action or money.
Text Tone Impersonation:
Phishing emails have become increasingly sophisticated, often mimicking genuine company or government communications. AI models are trained using examples of content, enabling scammers to train AI algorithms to create highly realistic impersonations of legitimate emails and texts. This technique makes it harder for individuals to discern between real and fake communications
How to Protect Yourself
To protect yourself, save the genuine emails of companies or organizations that frequently contact you. Be cautious when asked for personal or login information and verify the authenticity of such requests by calling the organization at a known contact number rather than relying solely on the email or text. Avoid clicking on links from unknown senders and preview URLs before clicking if you’re unsure of their safety.
Other Ways to Stay Safe…
As hackers and scammers continue to exploit AI in their cyber attacks, it’s crucial to prioritize your cybersecurity. Being skeptical of unexpected contacts and requests for money remains essential. However, it’s important to note that AI can also be used for good, even in the fight against scammers. Consider leveraging proactive AI-based tools like Aura to enhance your protection.
For example: Aura’s AI-powered Call Assistant serves as an effective defense mechanism against spam or scam calls. It screens unknown calls on your behalf, ensuring that only legitimate calls are forwarded to you. To learn more about it and access exclusive Cyber-Seniors discounts, visit aura.com/cyberseniors.
With all the negative talk about AI out there, it may be tempting to shy away from it. However, to ensure our online safety, it is crucial to stay informed about the latest AI developments. By staying up to date, we can better understand the risks and take appropriate measures to protect ourselves in this evolving digital landscape.